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HDB homeownership: A guide to the non-citizen spouse scheme in Singapore

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  • The Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme allows Singaporeans to buy 2-room flexi BTO or any resale flat with a foreign spouse.
  • Eligibility criteria include age, citizenship, and valid passes for the non-citizen spouse.
  • Housing grants are available, but they are similar to those for singles and not as generous as for couples where both partners are Singapore citizens or PRs.

For those who have found love beyond Singapore's shores, the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme offers a pathway to homeownership. This scheme allows Singaporeans to buy an HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) or resale flat with a foreign spouse, albeit with certain limitations. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how you can navigate this process.

The Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme is designed for Singaporeans married to foreign nationals who are not Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs). Under this scheme, the Singaporean citizen (SC) must be the main applicant, while the non-citizen spouse is listed as an occupier, not a co-applicant. This distinction is crucial as it affects the types of flats you can apply for and the grants you are eligible to receive.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme, the following conditions must be met:

Main Applicant: Must be a Singapore Citizen.

Non-Citizen Spouse: Must have a valid Visit Pass or Work Pass.

Age Requirement: The SC must be at least 35 years old if the non-citizen spouse has a Visit Pass or Work Pass. If the SC is 21 years and older, the non-citizen spouse must have a Long Term Visit Pass or Work Pass with a validity period of at least six months from the date of issue.

Flat Types and Options

Under this scheme, you can only apply for specific types of flats:

BTO Flats: Only 2-room flexi flats are available.

Resale Flats: All HDB flat types and sizes sold on the open market are available.

Housing Grants

You are eligible for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) (Singles) if you meet the requirements. The grant amount ranges from $2,500 to $40,000, depending on your income. To qualify:

  • Your gross monthly household income (including your spouse’s income) divided by two must not exceed $4,500.
  • You and/or your spouse must be employed for 12 months before and at the point of flat application.
  • The remaining lease of the flat must be 20 years or more.
  • You or your spouse must not own any properties locally or overseas, or have disposed of any such properties in the 30 months before your new flat application.

Alternative Family Nucleus

If you have a child with your foreign spouse, you can form a family nucleus with your Singaporean or SPR child and apply under the HDB Public Scheme. Alternatively, you can form a family nucleus with a SC or SPR parent to qualify for the Public Scheme.

Considerations and Limitations

While the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme provides a route to homeownership, it comes with limitations. For instance, you can only apply for 2-room flexi BTO flats, which may not be suitable for larger families. Additionally, the grants available under this scheme are not as generous as those for couples where both partners are Singapore citizens or PRs.

Navigating the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme can be complex, but understanding the eligibility criteria, available flat types, and housing grants can help you make informed decisions. Whether you opt for a BTO or a resale flat, this scheme provides a viable option for Singaporeans married to foreign nationals to own a home in Singapore.

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